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Monday, November 05, 2007


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”


[Disclaimer: Because he is a candidate himself, Andy Martin does not endorse any presidential candidate; his columns merely represent impartial observations on the presidential campaign]

(CHICAGO)(November 6, 2007) I have been following the Ron Paul presidential campaign (RPPC) for some months. Indeed I have been planning to write this column for some weeks. But today’s show of financial force by the RPPC mandates a close look at Paul’s appeal.

The RPPC raised $4.2 million in one day. Amazing. Something is happening in the Republican Party. I am not quite sure what.

“Regular” Republicans do not particularly care for Mr. Paul’s views. And many cheer Rudy Giuliani’s rejoinders over the congressman’s positions on foreign policy. But still, you don’t raise $4 million in one day without a growing national movement. While the media have begun to prune the presidential marquee for future debates, Paul’s fund raising prowess ensures that he will be with us well into 2008.

I understand what Paul’s message is, and I agree with some of his agenda. But what part has caught fire? Is it the antiwar segment within the Republican Party that has found a voice? Is it Paul’s libertarian views on domestic issues? I can’t say for sure. But something has captured the imagination of a lot of people who are making online contributions to the RPPC.

Initially, the Paul campaign was the object of ridicule by political professionals and pundits in Washington. Paul is obviously not collecting money due to his imposing personal presence. Not at all. And his delivery is actually quite understated. Even when he is attacked, he doesn’t shoot flames back at the opposition. Still, over 37,000 people gave money in a single day, November 5th.

I got an unsolicited campaign contribution in the mail yesterday. It was for $30. I know how hard it is to collect money, especially when the “party” is not behind you. So I am all the more impressed by Paul’s performance.

Paul’s campaign put on a little promotion for the 5th, and it succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. When people open the Washington Post on Tuesday there will be shock. Four million dollars in one day? What? Ron Paul?

Which brings me to my point. In every election season, someone surprises, someone comes out of the second division to challenge our assumptions about the unfolding campaign. In 2000, John McCain ambushed George Bush in New Hampshire, and the Bush campaign came close to unraveling. I know a lot about what happened in South Carolina and I won’t go there. Eventually McCain supported Bush and the rest is history.

McCain was an even more loyal Bushie in 2004, and since then he has sought to defend the Iraq war, if not the tactics being used. McCain has supported the “surge” and I am sure he supports more action and activism in the region. But because of the war’s unpopularity, McCain’s fund raising has been anemic and his campaign almost expired over the summer. McCain has been forced to become the McCain of 2000 all over again, in 2008. He’s trying.

Paul says “get out” of Iraq and “stay out” of Iran and return to traditional Republican nonintervention in foreign conflicts. Is that the message catching fire? I find it hard to believe Paul’s proposal to abolish the Federal Reserve System is the propellant for a flash fire of fund raising. Still, I am left with an open mind and no easy answer. Why now? I have followed Paul’s political career for decades and, frankly, he has surprised me with his current support. On the other hand, he can’t be that far outside the “mainstream,” because he has been reelected for decades from his home district in Texas.

Nevertheless, I think Paul will actually become the “John McCain” of 2008. Paul is raising more money than McCain, Fred Thompson and other poll-heavy candidates. With a growing campaign war chest, the Paul message is going to be amplified. Money brings visibility, and visibility brings poll numbers. Very likely even voters. Paul is not going to suddenly shoot to #1, but he is going to become an increasing presence in the primary campaign.

And one critical factor favors Paul: the long campaign. Many Republicans assume the nomination will be decided on February 5th. Maybe, maybe not. Some candidates will surely be over. But I believe Paul’s fund raising machine is not going to slow down. I project and predict his money will keep flowing from whence it came. And so Paul will have adequate funding, and perhaps even growing funding, to keep putting out his message up to the Republican National Convention.

Will Paul collect a lot of delegates? Probably not. But he will likely have enough of a delegate presence to keep fighting right onto the convention floor. For sure he is not going to endorse Rudy Giuliani.

And so we are left with the conundrum. What is fueling Paul’s fund raising? Is it the antiwar message? The libertarian agenda? Or is it a rejection of all of the other Republican candidates? I wish I could be more certain. I’m not. But I am comfortable predicting Paul is well on the way to being the John McCain of 2008. He has already surprised, and I expect the surprises to keep coming.

As for the other presidential candidates. I bet that today, Tuesday, they will be as surprised as I am.

Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is also a candidate for United States Senator from Illinois. Columns also posted at and Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:;


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